(Full Fake Dr. Story) Officials reeling in shock over revelations
~ by Rick Langenberg ~
Cripple Creek’s latest quest for a full-fledged medical office has crashed, as town officials learned they were dealing with a convicted fake doctor who served previous time behind bars for a major scam.
Last week, the city, following an executive session, ceased operations with Matthew Paul Brown, aka Matt Brown, and the Loma Vista Medical Center and the Loma Vista General and Family Practice. Brown was listed as the owner of these businesses, according to city documents. The city also demanded immediate payment on the $100,000 loan it agreed to at a previous meeting.
This decision follows revelations that one of the principal parties it was negotiating with, Matthew Paul Brown, served five-plus years behind bars for a spree of nearly 20 counts dealing with heath care fraud and wrongful identification of health information and impersonating a doctor. Brown, who used the name Matt Brown in his dealings with officials in Teller County and Cripple Creek, is reportedly on federal probation.
The city, though, still has hopes that it can rescue part of the deal by retaining the services of Doctor Robert Reid, who was supposed to be the main physician to occupy a medical office at the Cripple Creek Medical Plaza.
“We are still confident that we can work out an agreement with Dr. Reid,” said Cripple Creek City Administrator Ray DuBois. The city administrator said Reid, who boasts of an impressive resume of 30-plus years, wants to serve a rural community. DuBois says Reid has expressed an interest in serving as a doctor in the Cripple Creek community for several days a week, but doesn’t want to handle the business operations.
DuBois didn’t comment on the situation surrounding Matthew Paul Brown, indicating that a continued investigation is ongoing.
He also wouldn’t comment on whether the city got scammed by Brown to the tune of $100,000. During an earlier meeting on Nov. 1, the city agreed to give the new medical operator a $100,000 loan and six months of free rent at the Medical Plaza. This was described as common practice for a community trying to land a full-time major medical office in order to allow the practice to get off the ground. The possible arrangement with Brown and Loma Vista was described as a win-win scenario for Cripple Creek and was touted as a better arrangement than what the town had in place previously.
That was before Creek officials learned the real details regarding Matthew Paul Brown, and not Matt Brown.
According to an FBI press release, Matthew Paul Brown was harshly criticized by United States Attorney Sally Quillian during a previous investigation. “The Medicare and Medicaid systems are designed to provide elderly and needy individuals with necessary medical care by duly trained and licensed medical personnel. This defendant’s alleged impersonation of a doctor (Matthew Paul Brown) defrauded those systems, private health insurance companies, and the patients he treated, who were unaware of his lack of qualifications,” stated Yates during the feds’ investigation of Brown in 2011 in Georgia.
He reportedly carried on an intensive health care fraud scheme that targeted many practicing physicians, private health insurers and federal agencies, and may have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Brown eventually reached a plea deal. According to one news report, he could have been jailed for more than 100 years if convicted of all the charges.
A Shocking Blow
DuBois described the situation as very unfortunate for the community. “We are very disappointed. We, and many people in the community, are in total shock,” said DuBois.
DuBois said city officials learned recently that a problem may exist with the lease deal it agreed to. The city then mounted a more detailed investigation prior to last week’s council meeting, according to DuBois. The announcement to terminate any dealings with Matthew Paul Brown and Loma Vista occurred following an emergency executive session on Nov. 15.
Prior to that, the city administrator stated that Matt Brown had received strong recommendations from business owners, key health care officials in the community and local residents. A packet the council received provided positive recommendations regarding Brown. Matt Brown, the reported medical office owner, gave an upbeat presentation to the council on Nov. 1 in which he indicated that the new center would be opening its doors at the Medical Plaza in two weeks.
Still, some government critics say the potential operator should have been vetted much more, prior to the city agreeing on a lease deal.
DuBois said the city may further investigate the recommendations the city received, pertaining to Brown. And on the upside, the city administrator said it is good officials learned of possible problems now, prior to the medical office starting.
And even though the medical center deal has been terminated, DuBois stated that the Medial Plaza is alive and well, with dental services offered through Forest Edge Dental and the offices of a physical therapist. He denied any rumors that the Plaza facility has been locked up.
Even with the latest development, DuBois is optimistic that the city can secure a deal for landing a qualified doctor at the facility. This has been a long-time goal of the city.